||Another simple story, this time about the politics
just before the Separatists fragmented the Republic. The Jedi don't
figure into it much, and that's good, because Obi-Wan and Anakin are
pretty inept. Since when can they not feel droids with the Force? They
did a pretty lousy job protecting the Senator. Anakin didn't even sense
his pain when he was being attacked on the balcony. Nor did Obi-Wan
sense the betrayal of the senate guard who was "protecting" the senator.
Neither sensed that the princess was an assassin.
Senator Simon Greyshade, newly appointed after his
predecessor was murdered, represents a swing vote on an important issue,
the issue that will eventually frustrate some member worlds so much that
they will attempt to Separate from the Republic. He is entirely
oblivious to the danger he is in, and the Jedi fend off one attack, the
Senate guards another at a party he insists on going to. I must say the
guards to a much better job than the Jedi.
One of the guards is Sagoro Autem, whose family were
guards for generations before him. He has a problem with family life
because he is loyal to the Republic, and nothing else. He sent his
own brother -another former guard- to jail for taking bribes. As Venco points out, all the senators are corrupt (or almost all, anyway).
It turns out that Venco is the one behind the assassination attempts,
and he turns Sagoro's unhappy son against him by freeing the boy's
girlfriend. In return, Reymet gives Venco his father's codes to the
Senate guard tunnels.
Although the Jedi found out Venco's name, the guards
do all the work, and actually get wherever they need to be before the
Jedi do! Although he saves the senator, Sagoro ends up killing his
brother, losing his wife, and getting arrested. But he allows his son,
an accomplice to attempted murder, to go free, wondering if the Republic
is really worth his loyalty anymore.
Five years later, Sagoro is a hero of a battle in the
Clone Wars, though he credits the Jedi with being the heroes. All talk
of the Jedi ceases, however, when they are summoned to be briefed by
Emperor Palpatine and his new apprentice, Darth Vader. Vader kills one
officer as an example of speaking out against the Emperor, and later,
Sagoro is targeted for death. We are not given any reason for why he was
to be removed from command, but presumably it is because he is too loyal
to the Republic, even now. His old partner informs him of this, and he
escapes. Vader hires bounty hunters to find Sagoro, but they fail only
because Raymet is also disguised as a bounty hunter, and gets his father
off the planet in time.
The artwork was broad with lots of colour. I liked the
blue of the Senate guards. While I also liked the open space of many of the
pages and panels, allowing things to grow large, mostly it had no detail
at all. Some shapes only barely resembled people. In some places,
however, the detail became stunning -was this the same artist? Some
words appeared to be missing, too, and I'm not talking about the
girlfriend who couldn't speak Basic.
Still, this was an interesting story about Honor and
Duty, and how a guard's principles didn't change, but the foundation
behind them changed instead.